John C. Fowler
John C. Fowler

MOUNT VERNON — For the first time since 1954, there will no longer be a Dr. Fowler dentist’s office in Mount Vernon.

John C. Fowler, who followed his father (John R. Fowler) into the business in the 1980s, announced he retired Feb. 4.

“I decided it was time. I wanted to do other things,” Fowler said. “I’ve been blessed to be a part of this community. I’m going to miss the families that came through the practice through the years.

“First, they were dad’s patients, then I came in. After 65 years, we’ve seen a lot of new patients and new families. It’s been kind of neat.”

Fowler sold the office to Premiere Dental, which is taking over the equipment and patient list and will serve the community with Dr. Seth Pezar. Fowler has spent the last month or so helping with the transition, but recently stepped away.

The Fowlers have been Knox Countians’ dentists since the senior John started the firm on East Gambier Street in 1954. In 1965, he and Dr. George Deely built the building at 104 E. High St. He eventually retired in 1984, turning over the practice full time to his son, who had graduated from Ohio State University dental school in 1981.

The younger Fowler didn’t plan on following in his father’s footsteps. After graduating from Mount Vernon High School, John went to Davidson College in North Carolina for a few years before returning to the area not sure what he wanted to do. While working as an orderly at Mercy Hospital, he went back to college at Capital University, eventually getting a degree in biology. From there, he went on dental school at OSU and then came back to Mount Vernon to work with his dad.

From the start, he followed his dad’s lead in dentistry, feeling it wasn’t as much about a person’s teeth as it was knowing the person and trying to help them achieve good oral health.

“If it was just looking at teeth, I wouldn’t have done it as long. It was about getting to know people and their families. After a while, you feel like you are part of their family,” Fowler said.

While working as a dentist, Fowler still found plenty of time to do other things in the community. He has been a trustee for the Knox County Historical Society, performs living history from many different eras, and has worked with Head Start and New Directions.

Fowler also has spent many years helping local veterans and volunteering at the homeless shelter with his longtime hygienist, Barb Ford.

“It feels good giving back, especially to the veterans. I’d go to Head Start and do exams, basic stuff like that,” Fowler said. “My dad used to make mouthguards for the football team.”

He plans on staying busy, golfing and following his grandchildren with his wife, Marcie, as much as possible, while also continuing to teach the youths through his living history presentations.

“I want to golf more and teach the younger ones. I really enjoy history (programs) and I don’t mind volunteering. I’ll stay busy,” he said.


Fred Main: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @



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